Double victory for Murray on return

By for MurraysWorld.com on
On his return to tennis after four weeks out, Andy Murray avenged last year's shock defeat with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win against Nicolas Mahut at the Aegon Championships. He later returned to court to beat Aussie number two Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 6-2 in a much more straightforward encounter.

It was the world number two's first appearance since pulling out of his match in Rome four weeks ago, and he looked almost at home on the grass of Queen’s Club in his opening match. A mixture of injury and bad form has seen Mahut languishing down at #224 in the ATP rankings, although the Frenchman is fresh off the Roland Garros doubles final and is a completely different specimen on the grass surface.

The match was heavily marred by the English weather, with play thrice being interrupted due to the conditions. But the Brit eventually prevailed in an edgy encounter, saving all three break points he faced and stepping it up on the big points to seal his first win at Queens since winning the title in 2011.

Murray nearly got off to the perfect start with a couple of breaks points in the very first game. But Mahut’s serve came to the rescue, and the match settled into a steady rhythm as both players eased through their service games.

But in the seventh game the US Open champion stepped it up a level. A drop shot and volley combination earned him another break point, and this time Murray found the breakthrough - chasing down a drop shot and guiding the ball beyond Mahut’s reach.

The rain clouds were circling above but the Brit was unaffected, and after consolidating serve he raced to a couple of set points on the Frenchman’s next service game. Mahut saved them both, but a double fault gave Murray another opportunity and he took full advantage; a stunning lob that Mahut could only stop and admire as it flew over his head.

Just moments later the British weather intervened, and efforts to finish the match proved futile. Play was halted twice more after the restart, and eventually suspended for the day after just four games had been played.

It was Mahut providing the early pressure, playing like a man with nothing to lose – which, in-fact, he was – and Murray had to face two more break points in his next service game. But the Brit responded with aplomb, firing a bullet forehand winner followed by a 136mph ace to stave off the danger.

The set continued to be dominated by serve, but there were still some moments of individual brilliance – not least a stunning slice approach shot winner from the Scot and a brilliant diving volley winner from Mahut. But neither player was able to find a breach in their opponent’s serve – despite a couple of brilliant passing shots from Murray - and the set went into a ‘breaker.

After trading mini-breaks the world number two found himself 3-4 down, but a couple of brilliant passing shots sandwiching an unreturned serve saw him with two match points. And he only needed the one; pulling off another incredible passing shot from well behind the baseline to seal the victory in style.

Murray returned to court later on in the day to face Marinko Matosevic. This one proved to be much easier for the Brit, who broke in the very first game and raced through the match in just 56 minutes. The Australian number two never really seemed to settle, and despite the odd glance of what he was capable of, a number of wild errors aided the world number two who never really looked in any trouble.

In the quarter-finals Murray will face the veteran Benjamin Becker. The German is down at #105 in the world rankings after a brief injury, although he made the Nottingham final last week and is in a good run of form.
add comment | 12 comments
thanks Luke ,missed it today but your writing was really good. felt like i didn't miss a thing.
June 13, 2013, 02:44 PM
By iamabritt

Thanks for the report Luke. Even though I watched the recording I like to read the reports.

Mahut played really well, he has good movement on grass, you wouldnt know he was so far down the rankings.
June 13, 2013, 04:40 PM
By lashurst

What a very well written report, really caught the flavour of the match. I thought it was a very entertaining match with some super shots from both players. Andy's movement was great and his passing shots in the final game were jaw dropping.
June 13, 2013, 05:06 PM
By michelle

Thanks, Luke.  I missed it, thought it all started in a day or two!  Well done, Andy  yay
June 13, 2013, 05:23 PM
By adb..OH

I have a feeling this will become one of the lowest viewed/comment on reports on this place with all of three hours between this one finishing and the next one starting.
June 13, 2013, 05:25 PM
By TheMadHatter

Thanks for the report Luke. Even though I watched the recording I like to read the reports.

Mahut played really well, he has good movement on grass, you wouldnt know he was so far down the rankings.
  I can scarcely believe he has never won a tour title ( well according to the BBC anyway.)
June 13, 2013, 08:10 PM
By Fiverings

Thanks for a great report !
June 13, 2013, 08:32 PM
By sidtypical

Well done Luke, great report, as always.
June 13, 2013, 08:48 PM
By teejay1

I have a feeling this will become one of the lowest viewed/comment on reports on this place with all of three hours between this one finishing and the next one starting.
I've only got round to reading it but still found it enjoyable and it was nice to get the feeling of the match again, so thanks for taking the effort to make it so in the circumstances.


I can scarcely believe he has never won a tour title ( well according to the BBC anyway.)
He's never won a singles Tour title, but does have six doubles ones under his belt.  He's dangerous on grass because he regards it as his favourite surface and seems to spring into life when playing on it, especially as his preferred game is serve-volley.
June 13, 2013, 09:05 PM
By Aileen

He's never won a singles Tour title, but does have six doubles ones under his belt.  He's dangerous on grass because he regards it as his favourite surface and seems to spring into life when playing on it, especially as his preferred game is serve-volley.
  I was intrigued to note a comm ( can't remember which one) say that serve volley used to be the norm when surfaces were less reliable than they are now, and players wished to avoid the risk of a bad bounce on a ground stroke. Fascinating; and plausible too.
June 13, 2013, 09:53 PM
By Fiverings

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